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Hugely successful CWA State Conference in Coffs Harbour farewells 700 attendees

ABC News Breakfast co-host and narrator of hit TV series Muster Dogs, Lisa Millar, was a special guest speaker on the Wednesday of the CWA conference in Coffs.

THE Country Women’s Association of NSW’s annual State Conference held in Coffs Harbour from 6-9 May ended with members endorsing more than 25 motions across sectors such as health, law and order, education, transport and the environment.

The motions were discussed and debated over three days at the conference, with successful motions to direct the association’s advocacy efforts over the next year.

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About 700 members from across NSW attended the conference.

Coffs Harbour CWA Branch President Jodie Williams couldn’t be more delighted with not only the overwhelmingly positive response from delegates but also how Coffs Harbour businesses and the community welcomed the visitors.

“Planning began in March 2022,” Jodie said.

“The organising team worked diligently from then on to make Coffs 2024 the best conference that we could deliver and boy did we deliver.

“The overwhelming feedback was incredibly positive, with members commenting on the warm welcome they received from arriving in their accommodation to eating out and shopping in Coffs Harbour.

“We are incredibly grateful to our local community for helping us in making our members feel at home and welcome to our beautiful part of NSW.”

The running of the conference in conjunction with C.ex Coffs Harbour was also seamless, Jodie said.

“The staff at the club need to be commended for going above and beyond helping us to make this a very successful event.

“Our members have flooded our Facebook page with accolades, thanks and praise for our well-run event.

“Our committee worked so well together and we are looking forward to a rest before turning to more local CWA business.”

CWA State President Joy Beames said the diversity in the motions discussed highlighted the variety of concerns from communities across NSW.

“Health has remained a big focus for branches, with numerous motions endorsed by delegates that seek to improve access to services for regional, rural and remote residents and enhance the recruitment of health professionals to these communities,” Joy said.

“The increasing rates of crime in rural and regional locations has also been of enormous concern to the association and our members and this is reflected in several motions that came before the conference this year.

“We also hosted a rural and regional crime panel where members heard a number of different perspectives on the issue, and which reinforced the need for ongoing advocacy for country communities that are experiencing a real crisis when it comes to crime rates and impacts on victims.”

The motions endorsed this week will now be taken forward and form the basis of CWA of NSW lobbying efforts in the immediate future.

The conference also voted to make pancreatic cancer the CWA’s Health Research Fund Annual Project for 2024/25.

The previous Health Research Fund focus was ovarian cancer and earlier in the conference, the Association presented a cheque for $52,087 to the University of Newcastle for research into ovarian cancer by Professor Pradeep Tanwar.

By Andrea FERRARI

The CWA conference hosted a panel on rural and regional crime which featured Peter Price, CEO of Crime Stoppers NSW; Adam DeMamiel, co-founder and CEO of Boys to the Bush; and Cr Jamie Chaffey, Chairman of the Country Mayors Association of NSW and Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council.

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